Stories from the Kitchen Table
I created “Stories from the Kitchen Table” to preserve and honor a fading way of life in my childhood home, a continent away. Going home means travelling the long distance back to a small village in northern Germany and my family’s old farmhouse, a house that seems untouched by modern time, and, one day soon, will be left behind.
The hardship of farming and events during World War II cast a prickly shadow over family members that can still be felt today. Telling these tales gives me a chance for reflection and transformation. Memories and emotions intertwine into new stories.
When I visit, I absorb the ingredients of home: the flavors of dishes that are so familiar, and the same furnishings, photographs, knick-knacks, and worn kitchen tools that have been there since well before I was born. Most of all, the very essence of home for me is gathering around the kitchen table to sit down for a meal with family and friends and share stories old and new.
Connecting past and present, my composites include old family photos combined with images reflecting how I perceive my heritage today. I use flowers and fragmented images of fabric: these dish towels, tablecloths, napkins, and decorative wall hangings (dating back to 1799) were passed down from generation to generation - a salute to the women who lived and worked under the roof of this old house.